Product Type: Silver Cross prams, pushchairs and strollers
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Your carriage awaits Baby
Silver Cross Kensington
Member Name: lellagrace
Silver Cross Kensington
Advantages: Smooth ride, springy suspension, family heirloom
Disadvantages: big and bulky for modern lifestyle
This is one of the range of coach built prams from the Silver Cross Heritage Range and it really is, as Silver Cross say, “the Rolls Royce of prams.” The Kensington is not the largest model with the big wheels. I am told by my mother that those were called High coachbuilt, whereas the Kensington is a Medium coachbuilt.
With a new addition due to the family, a new pram was high on our “new baby” shopping list and as it was going to be bought as a gift cost did not matter! Call me old fashioned but I do not like these modern, fabric covered prams so it had to be a Silver Cross. I wanted something that was going to last and look smart, be practical in all weathers and most of all, be comfortable for the baby to ride in and comfortable for me to push.
SILVER CROSS COMPANY
Silver Cross have been making prams for decades, generations of us have probably grown up being gently wheeled around in their baby carriages. The factory in Guiseley, near Leeds closed several years ago and it was feared the tradition of making prams for royalty and the aristocracy would be lost forever. Thankfully, the Silver Cross company continues and so we could buy our pram.
There are several pram shops which sell Silver Cross so I advise you to look through Yellow Pages or on the internet to find your local stockist. If you have difficulty, then contact Silver Cross at www.silvercross.co.uk and they will send you more information. Different stockists quoted different delivery times, so order early if you want one of these to ensure it arrives with the baby!
Of course, you could also look on E Bay. I have seen the Kensington advertised on there, both secondhand and new. So you might just find a bargain if you are not fussy about your baby having a brand new pram. (If you do buy secondhand, do make sure you buy a new mattress though).
THE STRUCTURE OF THE PRAM
Coach built prams are so called because their bodies are made from steel and the paintwork has a “coach finish”. The paint is applied in such a way that it hardens and has a high sheen, this is then handfinished with a “coachline” being painted onto the bodywork.
The body is attached with bracket hinge thingies onto a superb springy chrome chassis. The wheels are two large and two small, with chrome spokes and heavy duty white tyre treads.
All in all a very robust and sturdy pram.
Another thing which I like about the Kensington is that the interior is made from vinyl which can be wiped clean. I think these interiors are much more hygienic than the fabric covered ones. Of course you use fabric bedding inside the pram, and when I wash this I always give the interior vinyl a wipe over too.
MORE ABOUT THE KENSINGTON
The Silver Cross Kensington is made to these exacting standards and is not cheap by any means. If you shop around you might find prices start at around 600 pounds, rising to almost a thousand. These are prams that will be handed down to future generations if you take care of them so can be a good investment. That is exactly what is happening with ours, it is now being used by the second baby and hopefully will remain in the family for years.
Each Kensington comes with an individual plaque and a certificate of authentication, and is really a beautiful pram. We found people stopped us in the street at first, not only admiring the new baby, but commenting on how nice it is to see a “proper” pram too.
The pram is rather large, and one of my friends wondered how we would fit it into a modern house. But considering how my grandparents and parents managed larger prams in much smaller houses, we didn’t think this would be a problem.
In fact, the pram is almost part of the furniture and during the daytime baby sleeps there instead of being put into the cot upstairs. That way he is used to being around the family all the time and has learnt to sleep amidst all the usual family activities. Now he can sit up he also loves to sit in the pram, surrounded by toys, happily playing away from a vantage point where he is on a level with the rest of us instead of being on the floor or in his low baby chair.
When baby goes to bed at night we wheel the pram into the hallway and it stays there.
But as I said, the Kensington is a large pram and you have to bear this in mind. These are the dimensions:
Height 1240 mm
Width 650 mm
Length 1220 mm
Handle Ht 990 mm
Internal bed 780 x 360 x 180mm
Folded chassis 890 x 490 x 650 mm
The body is detachable, but it is also rather heavy, although I can manage it quite easily but would not attempt to lift it with the baby inside! The chassis folds down and the wheels are also detachable. It easily fits into the boot of a medium sized car. Of course, now we have to have baby seats fitted into cars you can’t just put the pram cot onto the back seat and put the baby in there, so if you do choose one of these prams I would advise you to get a smaller pushchair as well.
A PLEASURE TO PUSH
There is no doubt that pushing this Silver Cross is a pleasure! It glides along, no harsh bumps as you go up and down pavements, the suspension is so springy it takes any impact, thus ensuring a smooth ride for baby.
It depends on your lifestyle I suppose whether or not you choose a coachbuilt Kensington. If you live within walking distance of the shops, friends and family and local parks etc and intend taking your baby out into the fresh air in the pram, then this would be ideal for you. Baby sits opposite you and you can communicate with each other as you push the pram, the hood and apron keep baby snug and dry on wet or windy days and in summer you can attach a sun canopy to shade baby from the sun.
Our pram has been used all year round, almost every day. Instead of our school run being in the car, nowadays the kids trot along at the side of the pram and everyone gets lots of fresh air and exercise.
It has a bag which fastens onto the front and holds nappies and bottles etc, and underneath we have a shopping tray. It is ideal when I go to the shops and can wheel all my shopping home without having to carry heavy bags. One important note though, do not leave your baby in the pram unattended outside the shops, again this can sometimes be a problem if the shop is small, but where I live most of the shopkeepers know me and are very accommodating by holding doors open etc.
The baby can also sleep in the pram outside in the garden and we know he is safe and warm. Again, this is great after an outing if he is asleep we don’t need to disturb him, but just wheel him into the house until he wakens up.
Perhaps if you are car dependant and rarely walk anywhere then the Kensington would not be a good purchase, they are very expensive and are bulky. Also when the baby is around 15 months old or so s/he will probably have outgrown the pram and you will have to decide to either store it or sell it.
The Kensington is usually seen in either black or navy, with bodywork and hood and apron in those colours. However, they are now making limited edition models in different colours and these look very smart. We have the white body with the navy hood and apron, but they also do the bodywork in cream with black hood/apron.
But now you can also have a VERY SPECIAL limited edition in either pink or blue! Seems a lot of money to pay though, just under a thousand pounds, for a pram which may not be wanted if the next baby is a different sex to the first one who the pram was bought for. I think it is much wiser to invest in a more neutral colour combination which will last for more than one child.
It is up to the individual to decide what to buy for their baby. Perhaps a Kensington is a good investment for grandparents to buy so it can be used by many of their visiting grandchildren. Or you may live in a stately home and have your own grounds where you can push the pram! Silver Cross have been a favourite with Royalty and Celebrities for decades!
If you do decide to buy a Kensington, then do treat it with respect. These are expensive prams and should be well looked after. Every week I lovingly polish the gleaming coachwork and the shiny chrome chassis, and when it is not in use the hood and apron are kept taut and given a brush on a weekly basis to keep them immaculate.
I hope this review will have helped some of you to make up your mind about choosing a pram and if you do get the Kensington, then I am sure you will not be disappointed.
Summary: If you want a traditional pram then this is ideal
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